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The Idiot

The Idiot

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot Part 2, Chapter 1 Summary

  • So time passes, and in this chapter we get a really fast summary of what has happened over the past six months since the night of Nastasya's birthday party.
  • (Oh, here's something to think about—the events of Part 1 all take place over just two days. Now we get just a short chapter to go through half a year. Why does this novel treat time so unevenly?)
  • The Epanchins basically act as if the prince never existed.
  • Meanwhile, there are rumors swirling all around the city about him and Nastasya and Rogozhin.
  • Ganya, meanwhile, has been a total recluse since that night. He quit his job with General Epanchin and now basically just lives at home.
  • Varya married Ptitsyn.
  • Oh, and right before the prince left town, Ganya gave him back the 75 grand and asked him to return the money to Nastasya.
  • Varya somehow became BFF with the Epanchin girls, and through her they know about her brother returning the money.
  • After a month or so, Mrs. Epanchin gets a letter from a powerful society friend who has taken the prince under her wing in Moscow.
  • At this point, General Epanchin tells the family that the huge inheritance was actually not as big as everyone thought, but also that the prince paid off anyone who came with any kind of claim—proof or no proof. He's basically just giving money away to all the charlatans around.
  • There are also rumors that Rogozhin wanted to marry Nastasya, and she almost did it—except at the last moment she left him at the altar. She ran off to the Russian provinces, followed by Rogozhin—and by the prince.
  • Meanwhile, in the winter, the Epanchins meet some new prince in town, who falls in love with their older daughter, and the marriage is planned for spring.
  • Everyone is happy, and the dude brings along a friend, who seems really into Aglaya.
  • Oh, and here are some more updates.
  • Kolya goes about his life, being friends with Ippolit, and being on much better terms with his brother.
  • General Ivolgin ends up in debtor's prison (back in the day, the idea was that the debtor's family and friends would pony up some amount of money to get him out, but since the debtor was usually the primary breadwinner, that didn't always happen). Ivolgin is perfectly happy there.
  • Three months later, Kolya also becomes friends with the Epanchins. Everyone is a fan except Aglaya. One day, he gives her a letter from Myshkin.
  • The letter is sort of confusing, but it's basically along the lines of "hey, what's up? are you ok?" 
  • Aglaya puts it away among her papers.

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